Mumbai: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya has been asked to appear before a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai on July 29 in connection with its money laundering probe against him in an alleged bank loan fraud case with the special judge saying he has “absconded” and was “concealing” himself to avoid arrest.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today published a court-issued proclamation against Mr Mallya for appearance before the special PMLA court on July 29.
“Whereas complaint has been made before me that above named accused Vijay Vithal Mallya residing at address: c/o- Ms Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, Mumbai 400018, has committed the offence of punishable under Section 4 of PMLA, 2002 and it has been returned to a warrant of arrest thereupon issued that the said Vijay Vithal Mallya cannot be found and whereas it has been shown to my satisfaction that the said Vijay Vithal Mallya has absconded and is concealing himself to avoid the service of the said warrant.
“Proclamation is hereby made that the above named accused in the above case required to appear in the Special Court under PMLA, Greater Bombay in court Room No 16 to answer the said complaint on July 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM,” the order issued under the signature of Spl Judge PR Bhavake read.
The proclamation has been published in some prominent national dailies in Mumbai and in Bangalore.
The proclamation was issued by a special anti-money laundering court in Mumbai on June 14 under Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) at the request of ED which is probing his role in the Rs. 900 crore IDBI-Kingfisher Airlines loan case.
The agency, they said, has served the order on Mr Mallya through official channels.
The Enforcement Directorate had sought the proclamation notice to be issued against Mr Mallya as it said he had “multiple” arrest warrants pending against him, including a non-bailable warrant (NBW) under the PMLA, and that the agency wants him to join the probe “in person”.
A person can be termed a proclaimed offender in a criminal case probe if the court has reasons to believe that the accused against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by it, has absconded or is concealing himself so that such
warrant cannot be executed.
As per Section 82 of the CrPC, the court can publish a written proclamation requiring such an accused to appear at a specified place and time from the date of publication of such a proclamation.
They said the probe agency will have the option to seek further action, if Mr Mallya fails to keep the date. Under Section 83 of the CrPC, ED may seek attachment of more of his properties.
The Enforcement Directorate has already attached his properties worth about Rs. 1,411 crore under PMLA in this case.
The agency has been wanting Mr Mallya to join investigations “in person” in its PMLA probe against him and others in the Rs. 900 crore alleged loan fraud of IDBI bank and has virtually exhausted all legal remedies like seeking an Interpol arrest warrant and getting his passport revoked. The embattled liquor baron is alleged to have diverted a part of the loan to some of his offshore businesses.
It is also seeking to invoke the India-United Kingdom Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to have Mr Mallya extradited from Britain. He had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.
The agency has registered a money laundering case against Mr Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.